My mother-in-law Pauline passed away yesterday about noon. She was eighty six years old and had been failing for the last couple of years. She and her husband Wales had five children, Ray is the second child. Pauline was born in Stilwell Oklahoma in 1924. Her family was like most of the people in the area at the time quite poor. It was and is a matter of pride to the family that the Ross's were direct descendents of John Ross the principal chief who led the Cherokee to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears.
Pauline and Wales were married July 10, 1941 in Stilwell. Wales was a mechanic, and like most women at the time, Pauline stayed home and raised the children. She said that when she and Wales got married all they had was $11.00 and a trunk. Both of them only had an eighth grade education. Over the years they were to the point of being comfortable, but no more than that. They worked hard all their lives. In 1950, they moved to western Kansas and lived in several small towns, the longest in Montezuma where Ray went to school. During that time Pauline became a CNA and worked in a nursing home, and later as a home companion. In 1985, she and Wales returned to Oklahoma, first to Broken Arrow, then back to Stilwell. My father in law died in 1989 and Pauline remained in Stilwell.
Despite her limited education, Pauline was interested in many things. She loved to travel. When we were in the Air Force, she would come visit us whenever it was possible. It was a disappointment to her not to be able to visit us when we lived in Turkey. She wanted to go on a cruise with us, but by that time she was not up to the trip. She was active in her church and the Stilwell Senior Center. She loved visiting with her many relations in town. For a while, she had been a "Granny" at the Maryetta grade school near her home in Stilwell.
Many people have told her children, how much fun and how they liked being around their mother. Pauline loved social gatherings and parties. She organized family reunions and made sure everything she wanted happened.
Right now, I don't know what I feel. I am sad, and I know that I will miss her. She has been a part of my life for forty five years. But Pauline lived a long and good life. She had all the highs and lows one has to face. Now she is with Jesus and that is just where she wants to be.